As if we needed another superhero movie this summer, Teen Titans Go! jumped into the fray. If you know an pasty, white man in his 20’s or 30’s, you have probably ignored his complaints over Teen Titans Go years ago when the show was launched. Years later, and it is still one of the networks most watched and profitable shows. Cartoon Network reimagined TTG! for children, which follows the same junior super-heroes (complete with original voice actor cast) from an early 2000’s property. The original cartoon, Teen Titans, was an eclectic mix of anime-inspired visual gags, homages and tropes that played alongside dramatic character arcs and creative exercises of animation budgeting. It was phenomenal, and it ended too soon.
Given Warner Bros Studio’s fetishizing of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy and the money it made them, DC comic book movies plop onto the silver screen with ridiculed franchise relaunches such as Suicide Squad, Justice League, and…I’m assuming you’ve already lost interest. Don’t worry: so did I, a lifelong DC Comics fan. They lack humor. They are not fun films. Even the DC animated films released every so often direct-to-DVD are ninety-minute drudges about adult conspiracies, sexual innuendo, and violence.
Imagine my surprise when Teen Titans Go!, an eleven-minute-per-episode, slapstick-driven melange of self-aware criticisms, made it to the big screen. A show made for children, following on the heels of The Incredibles 2, and was everything that fans of the show should expect. It is lighthearted. It criticizes the over-saturation of superhero movies while showing the grim sides of lusting for fame. It breaks into bizarre musical numbers, mocks itself, and farts very often. Almost as if it knew its audience: children.
My partner and I happen to love immaturity. So when we sat down in the middle of a Saturday matinee surrounded by – you’ll never guess, children– I turned around in my seat to record what the targeted audience thought of Teen Titans Go! to the Movies.
This is their running commentary:
“Mom, we’re at a movie.”
“I have to pee again.”
Robin leaps out of a building as it explodes. “What happened?”
“Why is Starfire orange?”
“Uncle Dave doesn’t like this show.”
The film’s villain, Slade, makes his first appearance. Within five seconds, he’s protesting the fact that he looks like Deadpool. “What’s wrong with Deadpool’s costume?”
“I have to pee again.”
During a motivational musical number, Michael Bolton voices a Tiger. “Why is there a tiger?”
The Michael Bolton Tiger doesn’t end well. “Now I’m sad.”
“Beast Boy turned into an animal. Because he can turn into animals.”
“They’re at the movies, Mom.”
“They’re singing again.”
“They just said Spider-Man. I watch Spider-Man.”
“Look, he turned into a cat.”
“I don’t have to pee anymore.”
The fans have spoken. Teen Titans Go to the Movies is in theaters.